Max Veronneau (and other recent FA Signings)

There was a time, years ago, where I would have been excited about the Sens signing a college free agent, but given the org’s long history of failure with NCAA (from John Muckler through Byran Murray to Pierre Dorion) it’s hard to get excited. There was a time when these players were at least top AHL-talent, but even that assessment has become iffy under Dorion’s regime. With that said, let’s take a look at Max Veronneau.

Max Veronneau (RW, DOB 95)
15-16 30-11-6-17 (0.56) 2nd team scoring
16-17 33-11-24-35 (1.06) 1st
17-18 36-17-38-55 (1.52) 1st
18-19 31-13-24-37 (1.19) 2nd

The local boy (Dorion’s favourite) spent his entire career playing with Ryan Kuffner (signed by Detroit) and their numbers are extremely close, with the younger Kuffner being ever so slightly better (1.15 over his career vs 1.11). This means we have to ask the question of how much Veronneau benefited from his teammate. Unlike most college FA’s there are no scouting reports from when he was draft-eligible, so we only have the historical record to go by which (for NCAA free agents) is not particularly encouraging. The odds of him being a significant contributor are very small, so the optimistic appraisal is that he becomes a useful bottom-six forward.

There were two other BSens related signings I wanted to quickly go through.

Miles Gendron (3-70/14, DL, DOB 96)
17-18 33-1-8-9 (0.27)
18-19 30-3-4-7 (0.23)

The career 0.26 NCAA performer was picked a bit early at the time and his production and performance since has not changed (keeping in mind he was selected to be an offensive defenseman)–he was an unremarkable player in the BCHL and just as unremarkable in the NCAA. He’s been signed to an AHL contract and barring a miracle will disappear into the ECHL next season.

Chris Clapperton (5-122/13 Flo, LW, DOB 94)
17-18 23-16-17-33 (1.43) 1st
18-19 30-14-33-47 (1.56) 1st

Another player from the Canadian University system and another smaller player (5’9); signed to an ATO he’s a safe risk and I’m happy with this kind of signing. Unlike Veronneau there are scouting reports on him from 2012 and 2013. Here’s what Hockey Prospects said in his draft year:

He’s a hard worker and doesn’t shy away from the physical game and will go in the tough areas of the ice. Solid in all three zones and he’s a smart player that doesn’t put his team in trouble. His smarts help him get open for goals as he follows the play really well and finds soft ice easily. Like last season, his skating will hurt him come draft day, he has quick feet but lacks high end speed, something you like to see from a small player. His offensive game would be limited at the next level as he doesn’t have big strengths: his skill set is pretty average, lacking size and high end speed, he doesn’t possess a particularly lethal shot, his passing game is simple and effective but again just average.

At the University level Clapperton had no problem producing, but whether he can carry that over in the AHL remains to be seen.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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